Class-Action Information

September 15, 2020

You may have heard that a group has filed a lawsuit in the Southern District of New York, where it has attempted to name every school district in the United States as defendants.

The lawsuit involves special education and a demand to reopen. The complaint suggests that the lawsuit is, or is intended to be, a class-action lawsuit against every school district listed on the attachment to the complaint. That attachment lists what is characterized as every school district in the United States.

Your school may be on that list.

You may receive an email associated with that case with a summons attached and a statement that you have been served or that you need to follow instructions to waive service. You are not required to waive service, and we do not recommend it. 

This case is not currently a class-action lawsuit, and all school districts are not defendants. Even if your school is listed on the complaint’s attachment, you are not necessarily a party to the lawsuit.

There is a legal process that must be completed for a class-action lawsuit to be certified. That process has not occurred. Moreover, as of September 1, 2020, the district court judge issued an order directing the plaintiffs to show why the lawsuit should not be dismissed. The judge has expressed concern that the court does not have jurisdiction over all school districts in the United States and noted plaintiffs’ allegations are factually deficient and do not pass the “laugh test.” Until the court addresses those jurisdictional issues, there are no briefing deadlines for any defendant (except for the New York City Department of Education) and no need to respond to the plaintiffs’ motion for a preliminary injunction or temporary restraining order. 

This notice is not legal advice, and we recommend if you do receive such notice to discuss with your attorney.